Monday, May 16, 2005

Alliance list

The Alliance have released their party list, along with details on the top ten candidates. It's a measure of how far they've sunk that (according to another press release) they're standing only 12 electorate candidates - about the same number as the LibertariaNZ. This will make it far more difficult for them to make a comeback; the visibility granted by electorate candidates is a good tool in getting out the party vote. Unfortunately, they show little sign of coming even close to the 5% threshhold, which means that they're pretty much doomed.


Well, we can but hope. I'd very much like to see the Alliance stick around, since it would add to labour's possible coalition partners on its left flank. But I suspect we'd need to see another Revolutionary National government to see the Alliance make a comeback (and no, I don't want one...)

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 12:29:00 PM

The Alliance won't come close to 1% let alone 5%. I suppose they will satisfy the needs of those on the left in the same way the Libz satisfy those on the right - er classical liberal spectrum.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/16/2005 01:13:00 PM

Joe is the first KAOS member I know who has run for Parliament - but given that I'm only familiar with a small part of their 23-year history, there's probably been a few others as well. One of the Great Old Ones would know more.

As for "quasi-fascist", you know the whole dictatorship thing is a joke, right?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 02:05:00 PM

Frequently. There was a range of political views, though I'm not aware of anyone who was a white supremacist. I did however run into a couple of KAOS people at the march for a Multicultural Aotearoa last year - marching against the National Front.

Of course, things could have been different in the 80's, but I wouldn't know, as I wasn't there.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 03:10:00 PM

you say you would like the Alliance to stick around but your original post delivers quite a kicking. bit incongruous if you ask me.

we are doing our best with limited resources, having been dicked over twice by our leadership in the last three years. i don't think any of us are looking to get back into Parliament this time, but are focusing on 2008 (personally i don't ever want to go into Parliament if i can avoid it). But to not stand at all really would be curtains.

The Alliance is doing well in Christchurch and Dunedin, which is the reason there are so many Mainlanders on the list.

Anyway I'll be posting about this in due course (ie when i get a chance), particularly the issue of the ideological ground - the Progs and the Greens do not cover it as the Alliance did, even combined.

Posted by Span : 5/16/2005 03:36:00 PM

Icehawk: doesn't rng any bells, I'm afraid...

Matariki: At least one of those people reads this blog, so I'll leave it to them. However, I don't recall any KAOS flats being exactly decorated with swastikas...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 03:52:00 PM

Span: I'd say that reality delivers quite a kicking. The Alliance is not the party it used to be, and would need a miracle to get into parliament this time round. However, as you say, not running would guarantee disappearance.

While there's a lot of overlap, the Alliance very definitely don't cover the same ground as the Progressives and Greens. The Progressives are the party of "business with a conscience" (oh, the irony - Jim Anderton leaves labour on the left and then allies with it on the right), while the Greens are a party for socially and environmentally concerned middle-class suburbanites (not that there's anything wrong with that). Neither is a "worker's party", which is the space that the Alliance is supposed to fill.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 04:08:00 PM

The Progressives are a joke - even with two MPs and all the resources that go with that, they're polling about the same as the Alliance. I'll be interested to see how many candidates they put up this time. In any case, cutting business taxes and cracking down on drugs aren't part of my idealogical space.

The Greens are at least a viable option, but they're very middle class, and (naturally) more interested in environmental issues than economic issues such as poverty.

The Alliance may not be in good shape at the moment, but I don't see any alternative to support.

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 5/16/2005 04:12:00 PM

CMT: I read somewhere they were planning a full slate, though they've only selected about a dozen so far.

I do think the Greens have a strong social conscience, but it is only one strand of their party rather than the central focus.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 04:23:00 PM

(blinks and re-reads post...) Matariki: I think you've got your Zanes' crossed - I'm the only Zane I know of who's been involved with the ChCh branch of Kaos at any time in the last fifteen years, pretty much continuously since 1994, and intermittently through the SCA since 1991, and I don't think I've ever been accused of white supremacy before. I do get around in trenchcoats and big black gothboots a lot, but thats because I'm an unrecovered paramilitary pseudogoth. I'm not of any political viewpoint other than I'm somewhere on the leftish edge of curmudgeonous bastard, with a view to pointing out when people are being silly with their earth sciences. Was this some other Zane involved with 80's Kaos?

I would have said about the only political affiliation you could pin on Kaos and its members would have been a combination of apathy and poking student politics with a stick to watch it twitch.

Posted by Weekend_Viking : 5/16/2005 04:33:00 PM

Iarni: possibly the latter counts as "quasi-fascist" to people who take student politics (too) seriously.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 04:58:00 PM

Idiot: Yeah, I can see how having no sense of humour could make one assume that a group of black clad pseudogoths taking machiavellian delight in playing with student politicos could translate to 'quasi-fascist' but I'm wondering how I could come across as a white supremacist when about the only interaction I've had with such was helping chuck some out of a party once.

Posted by Weekend_Viking : 5/16/2005 05:14:00 PM

Matariki: Can you give me some details here? A flat name, a year, what I was wearing? There've been a lot of parties where I've been drunk, and several gardens I've thrown up in, but this incident escapes me. If this was me, I seem to have given you a very bad impression of myself, and the group in general. If I was being offensively drunk at the time, I apologise, but I really have no memory of either the incident, or meeting you, or what I may have said, whether funny or otherwise. If you're going to generalise to an entire group from a couple of parties, then its easy to get an odd idea from drunken ravings. If you'd rather discuss this offline, email me at

Posted by Weekend_Viking : 5/16/2005 05:46:00 PM

Matariki: Ok, that narrows it down to sometime before 1999, as thats when the last Airdmhor party was (February '99). I was wearing a kilt at the last party, but you have me at a disadvantage as to your name and when I spoke with you, or what I said, and about what. If you want to judge me and my friends on that incident, when I was drunk, I cannot stop you, but thats your problem, not mine. If you felt I had offended you, I am sorry. However, I have no memory of the incident (Maybe on the verandah outside the billiards room (Oh, how I miss that Billiards Table) or in the driveway?? its all blurry.) If I did step beyond the pale, why did you not call me on it then and there to teach me the error of my ways?

However, bringing it up on a public forum, years later, when you have anonymity, and I have no memory of the incident, is a bit of the old ad hominem argument, especially when used against the whole social group, don't you think?

For what its worth, Kaos's founder is Tainui, and at the time of this incident, so was my partner (and a great-grand-neice of Te Rauparaha, to boot), and every time I've ever voted in NZ, it's been for either McGillicuddy Serious, Labour, or the Greens. Oh, and one thrown away party vote once for that "outdoor recreation" party, but they went mad and probably needed shooting anyway.

Posted by Weekend_Viking : 5/16/2005 06:39:00 PM

I can't imagine KAOS being a haven for white supremicists...but I can imagine people with no idea of the history of Maori greviances being young and a bit clueless and sounding off about...especially after a few drinks.

I flatted with Zane for a while and don't remember any swastikas...I think the leftie flatmate would have gone beserk if there were any. But I guess that arguement's all settled.

Schmoo does clumsily raises a good point. Often criticism of maori organisation (e.g. demanding proper financial controls from ones receiving public funds) is labelled as racism...basically as a means of shutting down debate...much the same as people say something is PC to shut down debate (confusingly I saw carbon taxes labelled as PC the other day).

Its a shame the Alliance has just about gone the way of the dodo...I would like to see a strong united party emerge to the left of Labour but it seems to be the nature of the left to always fragment. In any case, if they manage to highlight important issues in this election campaign and not take too many votes away from the left wing parties that do have a chance...I think it will have been a successful campaign.


Posted by Michael : 5/16/2005 08:00:00 PM

Well they do say that runnning for parliament can bring some skeletons out of the closet, but I had no idea it would be revealed that while at university I was a roleplaying geek with a tendancy to wear black.

That I find highly amusing :)

"Joe Hendren should not be tainted with any of this. Good luck to him and the Alliance. They'll need it."

I would like to thank matariki for these words, but would like to assure him I have never met nor encountered anyone with 'white supremist' politics in kaos. As has been stated above there is a wide range of views within the social group, but perhaps the most significant portion being largely non-political with a bizzare attraction to 'apathy'.

During the 1999 registry occupation I got some some bemused looks when people discovered that not only was Joe involved in the occupation, he was helping to organise it! That I also found amusing.

That said I was pleased to see some kaos people attend the anti-racism rally in chch earlier this year.

Posted by Joe Hendren : 5/16/2005 10:25:00 PM

Idiot you claim there is 'a lot of overlap' between the constiuencies of the Alliance, the Progressives and the Greens. I disagree, and in good geek fashion I have some numbers to back me up. Will post them on my blog.

A new party to the left of labour cannot be built overnight. If people support the general direction of the Alliance (and it appears many people do) they should get involved now and help us make it happen, instead of admitting defeat from electoral cycle to electoral cycle. I am realistic enough to see it as a longer term project.

I am proud to be on the Alliance list in order to stand up for public ownership of key assets, economic democracy and demanding an end to the farce that is the student loan scheme.

I admit I am somewhat relieved to be able to help highlight these issues in the upcoming election campaign without the danger of being elected to parliament! :) I am very happy at number 15!

Posted by Joe Hendren : 5/16/2005 10:43:00 PM

(grins at Icehawk)

Funnily enough I was planning on starting work on that tonight, in my role as Alliance policy co-coordinator. Your survey was discussed at the Alliance National Council meeting in the weekend :)

Are you mostly interested in candidates personal views or would you like a response based on what policy we have? I would like to discuss some of the survey with our justice spokesperson Andrew McKenzie first as some of it (eg sedition) is not covered in existing policy and perhaps it should be :)

Are you the Icehawk who was my first year philosophy tutor? If so its feeling like a small world tonight :)

Posted by Joe Hendren : 5/16/2005 11:00:00 PM

Joe: Oh, that registry occupation. I and my elder brother Hamish helped with the previous one (1993, I think). I supplied technical assistance in the form of fireworks (a little bang, smoke and flash) to slow the security down while the protesters rushed the stairs.

I think I ended up very dissillusioned with student politics sometime around then, after watching cafe marxists bollux themselves up one too many times.

Was vaguely involved in the 99 occupation too, but mainly covertly.


Posted by Weekend_Viking : 5/16/2005 11:03:00 PM

Joe: I look forward to seeing your data. It'll be interesting.

I'm quite comfortable with the Greens for now, but would like to see a strong Alliance. How can it be built, though? Using local body politics as a stepping stone and training ground? (Yeah, and why don't you try and take over a DHB, then use it as a platform from which to criticise underfunding?)

WRT the survey, its aimed at things which might be the subject of a conscience vote, so I'm primarily interested in personal views. That said, I recognise that some parties will have binding policy on some of these areas (as the Greens did on Civil Unions, and as the "Progressives" do on drugs), and I'm quite happy for people to say "my party says X" in those cases. I'm trying to work out how people will vote, after all... and if it leads to candidates thinking about the issues or policy being formulated, it's a Good Thing.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2005 11:58:00 PM

Interesting you mention standing for DHBs. Two Christchurch Alliance candidates (Tom Dowie and Andew McKenzie) stood for the Health Cuts Hurt ticket for the last DHB elections.

Main problem with the current structure of DHBs is that not only do elected members have to work with appointed members on an equal footing, members are ultimately responsible to the Minister, not their constituents. Many DHBs have also attempted to place media bans on members talking to media without approval, which for elected members is a ridicious situation.

That said Health Cuts Hurt are doing stirling work down here (One candidate from HCH was elected) to encourage greater transparency and democracy in the chch DHB. Once the DHBs are opened up and made more representative in this way, they may provide a better platform by which groups such as HCH and the ALliance can criticise underfunding of health.

That said, if you have any further ideas how another left party can be resurrected in New Zealand your ideas would be very welcome :)

Posted by Joe Hendren : 5/17/2005 10:28:00 PM

in terms of the Survey, I can guarantee you will get more responses from Alliance candidates than Labour ones - Labour has a policy of not responding to surveys - Hamish answered before they got the reminder.

Posted by Span : 5/17/2005 10:42:00 PM

Joe: Making DHB members accountable to the Minister rather than the people who elected defeats the whole purpose of elections, really. But I'm glad to hear the Alliance is trying even within that framework.

Span: Yeah, I've learned that over the past few weeks. I'll try grovelling at the whips, and then once I've got a sufficient pile of other responses, go for naming and shaming.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/18/2005 01:16:00 AM

If you're an elected DHB member, what can they do if you violate their rules on talking to the media? Sack you? In which case presumably there is a by-election - or can they just co-opt a more pliable member.

Posted by Rich : 5/18/2005 12:18:00 PM

look at AECT for an example of what could happen - the Court said that trustees were acting against their role as trustees by not considering the sale of shares, even though they had clearly promised in their election campaign not to sell them.

Posted by Span : 5/19/2005 09:16:00 AM